Yum Kaax to the rescue? Or how to hook reluctant readers…



Z Boston Harvard 11

Yum Kax (Yoom Kosh) the Mayan Corn God

Peabody Museum, Harvard University


I may have mentioned once or three times that I write ‘quick-read’ fiction for  young teens who are not too keen on reading. For those of us who cannot imagine ever being without a book, it is often hard to understand why some people struggle to ever pick one up.


The thickness can deter some doubtful readers. Pages dense with text also intimidate.  Ransom Publishing  thus produce slim readers with plenty of white space on the page.  More importantly, perhaps, for teen readers, they are now also published in various e-book formats including Amazon Kindle, and e-pub and pdf versions at Hive.


The stories in the Shades 2.0 series are aimed at twelve-year-olds with a reading age of 9-10 years. They are around six thousand words in length, i.e. short story sized. But, to create interest and momentum, they are divided into  several chapters  (with cliff hangers), and then spread  unthreateningly over 64 pages.  The aim is to build reading muscles by creating works that are small in scale but big enough in content; mini novels if  you like: do-able and hopefully un-put-downable.


Shades covers for REPRO Batch 3_Layout 1


The stories in the series cover many challenging themes and in all genres – from the trials of an apprentice apothecary escaping London during the Black Death of  1665  (Plague  by David Orme) to Jill Atkins’ Cry, Baby which tells what happens when schoolgirl, Charlie, finds she is pregnant. 


And where does Yum Kaax come in? Well he features  in my story Stone Robbers, putting in a surprising appearance when Rico, the angry young hero of the tale, stumbles into a robber trench in an ancient Mayan city. But that’s all I’m saying, except to add that the part he plays in the story was  inspired by the real and accidental discovery of a magnificent Mayan mural at San Bartolo, Guatemala back in 2001.

Stone Robbers, then, is both an adventure and a quest.  Rico has a score to settle with an old adversary, Enzo. Then he discovers that antiquities thieves have been looting the ruined city near his home. Between Enzo and the stone robbers, lies yet another conflict: Rico’s fury at his Mayan heritage, this in a Guatemala where Mayan people are still second-class citizens. Suddenly it all seems too much to handle, and then the Corn God puts in an appearance…


Available on Amazon Kindle and on Amazon in book format.

Shades covers for REPRO Batch 2_Layout 1

Also in the Shades 2.0 Series  Mantrap – a story about elephant poaching set in Zambia.



For more about Ransom and Shades 2.o series







See more bloggers’  YYY-stories at Frizz’s YYY-challenge 

17 thoughts on “Yum Kaax to the rescue? Or how to hook reluctant readers…

  1. thank you, Tish,
    for digging in your treasures
    as an author!
    Yum Kax (Yoom Kosh)
    the Mayan Corn God:
    completely new for me.
    I worshipped Pegasus
    instead – without any effect.

  2. Wonderful post.
    I share with you the delight in succeeding to bring reluctant readers into the club.
    Children can be great story tellers. I used to love writing out their words from a recording for them to read as if it was a real book, which of course it was.
    You have awakened part of me…thanks.

  3. Are those the same underground Mayan frescoes that were featured in Nat’l Geographic? They were beautiful.
    The shades 2.0 series sounds interesting. And if those frescoes were any inspiration, I’m sure they’re great.

  4. Lovely post Tish and yes, the young ones should read more. When I was younger I would have lived in the library if they let me. LOL! I still like reading but with the age comes the diminishing eyesight and if books weren’t so expensive I would have kept on buying them. I would love an ebook reader that I can take outside or when I am lying on my bed as it’s no fun sitting here at the desktop pc reading my ebooks. Maybe one day. 😀 Thanks for sharing hon. *hugs*

    1. Thanks so much for calling in, Sonel. Can recommend e-readers, and of course they’re getting cheaper all the time. There are lots of free classics to download, and the readers are so much easier to hold than a book when you’re lying down. And you can change the font size!

      1. My pleasure Tish and I totally agree, especially where the font size is concerned and of course, less trees have to be cut down. 😀

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